Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Many Americans were against the idea of spending so much of the taxpayers’ money on something as ambitious as the Star Wars Program. Many of them questioned the President, “Can we really afford this?”
Although I can’t remember his entire speech in verbatim, I can more or less remember the President’s reply to that one question. He answered it by asking a question of his own: “Can the United States of America afford to dream?”, or something like that. And that response was met with a resounding applause from his audience.
Most people have big dreams. Not all of them will achieve those dreams though. But the point is that ambitions and big dreams can help in making us strive harder; they bring out the best in us.
Having said that, however, there will be costs involvedlots of sacrifices, time, hard work, and of course monetary costs too. And it’s the latter element that is always the most difficult to overcome.
Dad, too, has been having big dreams all these years. He speaks of lucrative awe-inspiring projects and investments all the time. Some of the highlights of his so-called projects have been logging and timber, oil palm plantations of numerous scales, deep sea fishing etc. Whatever business ventures you can think of, it is likely that dad had tried them all over the last 25 yearsand failed. From the top of my head, the only venture that he has succeeded in, so far, is the business of making babies. Right now, he is into land brokering and should soon earn his RM1.2 million commissions.
If dad is happy pursuing his dreams, I suppose I should be happy for him too. However, over the years his dreams have been burning big holes in my pocket. Like Reagan, dad is pursuing his dreams at the expense of others.
Now, for the most part of my working life, I’ve been a fixed-income earner. So when in due course I received phone calls from dad, asking for a few thousand bucks each time, for his business ventures, I simply cringed with pain. I would be like, “Yeah sure, hold on a second, dad, let me just pull it out of my hat for you.”
A few days ago, I found out that dad’s problem with diabetes had worsened, and he is now required to take daily insulin jabs. The insulin tablets he’s been taking on and off for some years now can no longer help. It means additional maintenance costapart from his cigarettes, of course.
In the twilight of his life, dad is still actively pursuing his expensive dreams. Remembering Reagan and his famous speech, I’m just thinking:
Can dad still afford to dream?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
So that was that, the typhoon has passed, and I guess it's time for the rest of us to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the turbulence. I must say that I'm quite impressed that only Dennis had a problem this time round. Mom said she will try to come again next year, though not during the Chinese New Year. I wonder who will be affected by the typhoon next.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Don't worry about the score!? Are you serious!?
I have since received an email from the CoC, explaining the mechanics of point allocations for the 2 Games in question. For the benefit of some of you who've been asking me, please find below herewith the scoring format:
Game 1: Wau! Now everyone can fly! (Maximum 10 points)
—Kite Making (Based on Creativity & Effort)
—Ability to Fly (Min 10 Seconds)
—additional 3 points
Game 2: Picking Up Sticks (Maximum 10 points)
0—3 beans = 4 points
4—8 beans = 6 points
9—14 beans = 8 points
15 beans and more = 10 points
In the case of Game 1 above, the CoC has combined the elements of the actual making of the kite and its creativity, and here there are 3 possibilities, i.e. 7 points (most creative), 5 points (average design), 3 points (least creative).
On its ability to fly, that is a separate thing. Any kite, regardless of its design, for as long as it's able to remain airborne for at least 10 seconds, shall be entitled to 3 points.
In other words, if one is able to make a kite and fly it for at least 10 seconds, he should be able to get a minimum score of 6 points. And of course if his kite can't fly, he can't possibly get more than 7 points for that challenge.
In the case of Game 2, I'm quite OK with the format, except that I think it's rather unfair that 0—3 beans are entitled to 4 points; whereas 4—8 beans are entitled to 6 points. It means that anyone can simply appear at the game station and get no beans at all, and still get 4 points. Yet someone who manages to pick up 8 beans gets 6 points, i.e. a difference of only 2 points for a difference of 8 beans picked!